Part-time NHS staff denied training

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The Independent Online
A GROWING proportion of the NHS workforce comprises part-timers who do not get equal access to training, a study commissioned as part of the service's drive to provide equal opportunity for women has shown.

And with more staff likely at some stage to want to work part-time, measures are needed to ensure that part-timers do have equality of opportunity, the survey by the Institute of Manpower Studies concludes.

Most part-timers in the NHS - who include doctors, nurses and managers as well as ancillary and clerical staff - are women, the institute said.

The survey of close to 2,000 staff in the South-east Thames region showed that 40 per cent of part-timers had received no training over the previous 12 months against 25 per cent of full-timers. The part-timers, however, felt similar training needs to the full-timers.

The report identifies the need for more job-sharing opportunities and part-time working, particularly at senior level, to 'challenge the assumption that . . . senior positions can only be done on a full-time basis'. Child-care support is also recommended, as are career-break schemes that enable staff to keep in touch while they are away.

Women in the NHS: Experiences in South-east Thames; Institute of Manpower Studies; pounds 30.